WHAT THE SEEKER NEEDS - 5

By Muhiyy ad-Din Ibn 'Arabi

Learn to give, whether you have plenty or little, whether you are happy or in pain. This is a proof of your faith in Allah. Try to satisfy the needs of the needy. This is an affirmation that Allah has assigned everyone's sustenance and nothing will change it. This is a proof of your trusting in Allah.

A miser is a coward. The accursed Devil whispers in his ear that there is no death, that he will live a long time; that the world is hostile; that if he gives he will be left destitute, dishonored, and alone; that he should not be fooled by the plenty that he now has, for no one knows what will happen tomorrow. Worse still, if the miser has little, the devil tells him that soon he will have even less. No one will help him; he will be a load on others and will be detested. He has to look after himself. If these evil imaginations capture the heart one may be led to he edge of hellfire. On the other hand, the ones who give their ears to Allah hear His blessed words. Allah says in the Holy Qur'an:

...and whoever is saved from the miserliness of his ego, these it is that find salvation. (Hashr, 9)

...whoever is miserly is miserly to himself. (Muhammad, 38)

The final warning is:

If you turn back (on the path) He will bring another people in your place. (Muhammad, 38)

That is to say, after having been taught and after having been brought to the path of faith, if you begin or continue to be a miser, you may lose your place, your level, and Allah's favor. Someone else, who is generous and believes in Allah's generosity, will be brought in your place.

The one who is niggardly has not realized the terrifying meaning of Allah's words:

Destroy their riches and harden their hearts. (Yunus, 88)

This is the curse of the prophet Moses (peace be upon him) upon the Pharaoh. When Allah willed the destruction of Pharaoh and his chief, the prophet Moses (peace be upon him) prayed to Allah, the Absolute Judge, for them to be cursed with miserliness. With the effect of this curse the Egyptians were afflicted with miserliness and envy. The poor and the weak died of hunger and Allah judged the Pharaoh and his followers and punished them because of their miserliness.

The ones who are cursed with stinginess do not listen to the words of Allah's messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), who says, "Allah has two angels next to Him who pray every morning, 'O Lord, increase Your bounties upon the ones who give, and take away what they have from the ones who keep it!"'

When Hadrat Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) wished to donate all that he possessed and brought it to the blessed presence of our master, the Prophet of Allah asked, "What have you put aside for he care of your family?" He responded, "I leave them in the care of Allah and His messenger." When Hadrat 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) brought half his fortune to donate and was asked the same question, he answered, "I have left half of my goods for the sustenance of my family." The prophet of Allah told them, "The difference between you two is in accordance with your response to my question "

The one who gives from his sustenance attracts more than he has given from the Ultimate Sustainer. The miser, in addition to his sin of miserliness, accuses Allah Most High of stinginess and prefers and trusts his miserable goods over the generosity of his Lord. This is the unforgivable sin of attributing partners to Allah and may cause one to be rejected from Allah's mercy and lose his faith, may Allah protect us.

Therefore, spend from what Allah has given you. Do not fear poverty. Allah will give you what He has promised, whether you or everyone asks for it or does not ask for it. No one who has been generous has ever perished in destitution.

Part 6